Fury at British soldiers Union Flag ‘Nazi’ salute

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  By a Newsnet reporter
 
MPs and Army personnel have expressed their disgust at photographs of British Army soldiers apparently giving Nazi style salutes in front of a Union Flag.
 
The images, shown by a national newspaper, were reportedly taken in Afghanistan and show soldiers in fatigues in front of a Union Flag beneath which is a Northern Ireland Red Hand of Ulster flag.

In another image, three soldiers are seen alongside a Union Flag depicting the slogan ‘Invicta Loyal’ which is, according to the newspaper, the name of a Glasgow Rangers supporters club in Kent.

According to the Daily Mail, which revealed the images, the MoD has spoken to the soldiers giving the salutes.

Speaking to the newspaper, MP John Mann, who is chairman of the House of Commons’ All Party Group Against Anti-Semitism said: “This is an insult to the memory of those who gave their lives to stop the Nazis.
 
“These idiots need to be re-educated and they should be sent to visit Auschwitz and see what happened there and witness the evil which so many people fought to stop.’

“So many thousands of people died for this country and the last thing we want is their memory being tarnished by a couple of idiots in uniform.

“As Remembrance Sunday approaches, the MoD should send these guys around the country to clean war memorials.”

Suggestions that the salute symbolised the Red Hand of Ulster were dismissed by Northern Ireland DUP MP Sammy Wilson who added: “This is not a salute made by marching bands.  It is not clear what the context is but I do not think it can be explained away as some type of Red Hand of Ulster salute.”

Last month controversy surrounded a military style event at Ibrox Park when troops marched onto the pitch in front of cheering fans.  Scores of soldiers were then videoed taking part in what what appeared to be sectarian singing and chanting, with one senior armed forces member waving the Red Hand of Ulster flag.

No charges were levelled against any individual following a police investigation.

Responding to the latest images, Col Richard Kemp, an ex-commander in Afghanistan told the Daily Mail:

“I took just one glance at this photograph today – and felt utterly sickened. Whatever the reasons behind it, it looks awful and I condemn the behaviour of the soldiers involved.

“All soldiers should know it’s abhorrent and offensive and even if done in jest will bring the British Army into disrepute.

“I believe this is not the way most soldiers think and that this would be an isolated incident.

“Clearly, British soldiers serving in Afghanistan face terrible dangers and even death – and men find relief from the stress of fighting on the frontline in many ways.

“But even if these men were doing just that, they have overstepped the mark.”